Modern salts on Uncle’s atomic roller coaster, 77 years ago OTD
“Modern Salts”, Spinning a Yarn in the casemate of 5″/51 Gun Number Eleven of USS Arkansas (BB 33) on 27 October 1940. The men are (from left to right): Gunner’s Mate Second Class N.I. Fewell; Boatswain’s Mate First Class R.D. Dennies; Coxwain G.E. Lehto and Gunner’s Mate First Class W.A. Crook. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 101674
Arkansas was the only sister to the USS Wyoming (BB-32), a two-ship series of early dreadnought battleships in the U.S. Navy commissioned in 1912. One of the last coal-burning battlewagons in the fleet, both Wyoming and Arkansas were shipped to the British Isles when the U.S. entered WWI as part of Battleship Division Nine, which was attached to the British Grand Fleet due to the availability of good Welsh coal in the UK.
“Arky” dodged the Kaiser’s Germans in the Great War but was still around to win 4 battle stars in the Second World War supporting both the D-Day invasions and the Dragoon landings in Southern France before shipping off to the Pacific to plaster the Japanese in Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
The weary 33rd battleship ended her service to the nation on 25 July 1946, sunk as part of Operation Crossroads where she was just 620 yards from the Able shot and only 170 from the Baker blast.